The condition when the thyroid gland produces less amount of thyroid hormones is called hypothyroid, while the condition when there is the overproduction of hormones by the thyroid gland is called hyperthyroid. The thyroid gland is located in a front portion of the neck and affects almost whole body’s metabolic process.
The main function of thyroid gland is to store, secrete, and produce hormones especially triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) into the bloodstream that regulates numerous functions, including metabolism, body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure, growth and development of the brain and nervous system. It is seen that hypothyroidism is more common than hyperthyroidism.
Both the diseases are said to be as “autoimmune disease“. In this type there is direct cellular damage, and thus connective tissue (scar tissue) replace the cellular structure, this happens due to the attack of the antibodies or lymphocytes to the cell-membrane antigens, resulting in cellular lysis or an inflammatory response against the affected organ and gradually resulting in the decline of the function of the organ.
So precisely we can say that when body’s feel some frustrating symptoms like constipation, tiredness, forgetfulness, you should visit the doctor to confirm any imbalance in the level of hormones of the thyroid gland. And if the activity of these hormones is diagnosed to be abnormal, the result can be either hypothyroid or hyperthyroid.
When the production of hormones in the thyroid gland is underactive or is unable to make required amount for the proper function it is called hypothyroid. However, when there is an overproduction of the hormones, which is more than the required amount, it is called hyperthyroid.
Hereby we will consider the fundamental difference between both types, adding more information on them.
Content: Hypothyroid Vs Hyperthyroid
|Basis for Comparison||Hypothyroid||Hyperthyroid|
|Meaning||When the thyroid gland is unable to produce or secrete the required amount of thyroid hormones, leading to improper body's function is called hypothyroid.||When there is an overproduction of thyroid hormones by the thyroid glands and thus affecting the normal function of the body is called as hyperthyroid.|
|Also known as||It is also called as the underactive thyroid.||It is also known as the overactive thyroid.|
2.Radiation exposure after cancer treatment
4.Hashimoto's thyroiditis, or an autoimmune disorder or chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis.
5.Medications used in cancer treatment, psychiatric conditions and heart problems.
3.Graves disease (a disease that stimulates the thyroid hormones).
4. Tumours of the ovaries or testes.
5.Benign tumours of the thyroid or pituitary gland.
4. Goiter (swelling of the thyroid gland).
5.Slow heart rate.
6.Sensitivity to cold.
7.Dry hair and hair loss.
11.Carpal tunnel syndrome.
3.Itchy red skin.
5.Running heart beat.
7.Feeling worried or anxious.
8.Loss of consciousness.
9.Nausea and vomiting.
|Effect on hormones||It results in the decrease of hormones.||It results in the increase of hormone production.|
|Diagnosis||Test of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), thyroid scan, thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulin (TSI) test, radioactive iodine uptake test.||Test of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), thyroid scan, thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulin (TSI) test, radioactive iodine uptake test, along with that T3 and T4 test.
|Treatment||Synthetic thyroid hormone (e.g., Levothyroxine) or corrective observed iodine supplementation.||Beta blockers (e.g., Propanolol) to alleviate symptoms, anti-thyroid medications (e.g., Methimazole) to slow down over reactive thyroid.|
|Temperature Intolerance||Cold Intolerance.||Heat Intolerance.|
Definition of Hypothyroid
The less production of thyroid hormone according to the body’s requirement is called hypothyroid, also termed as under production thyroid hormone. It is commonly known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. In this autoimmune disorder attacks the thyroid and resulting in the death of the tissue.
When thyroid glands are been removed due to hyperthyroidism disorder, the patient may catch hypothyroidism unless they follow the appropriate thyroid hormone replacement therapy.
A thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) has the normal range lying between .5 and 4.5 ml U/L. But if the level falls outside the provided range, the patient is said to have either hypothyroid or hyperthyroid.
The signs and symptoms include sleepiness, constipation, weight gain, cold intolerance, slow heart rate, tension, infertility, erectile dysfunction, depression, loss of memory, lack of concentration, swelling in eyelid, leg, hands, abdominal swelling, round puffy face, dry and pale skin, itchy skin, hair loss, prolonged and frequent periods, muscles stiffness, pains.
The treatment varies from person to person and the multiple causes of the occurrence of the disease, but generally, hypothyroidism is controlled by the use of a synthetic thyroid hormone or by giving proper iodine supplements. Sometimes condition like ‘myxedema coma‘ can also occur, it is a decreased level of consciousness, low body temperature, convulsions.
Definition of Hyperthyroid
The overproduction of thyroid hormones is called hyperthyroid also termed as an overactive thyroid. There can be many reasons for the overproduction of thyroid hormones, for example, post effect of Grave’s disease will result in overactive thyroid and thus formation of too much hormone in the body.
When there is a “flow” of an excess amount of hormones, leading to the inflammation of the glands is referred as subacute thyroiditis. Toxic diffuse goiter or Graves’ disease is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism overall. In this disease, thyroid gets swollen and sometimes even eyes. Due to the over activeness of the thyroid gland, it releases an excess amount of thyroid hormone into the blood stream.
The signs and symptoms include weight loss, diarrhea, hyperactive, heat intolerance, fast heart rate, infertility, erectile dysfunction, spontaneous abortion, nervousness, irritation, anxious, ankle swelling, pigmentation, itchy skin, hair loss, redness of the palms, infrequent periods, muscles weakness.
The diagnosis is same as discussed above, but along with the checking of the TSH level, the suspected patients are also asked to go for checking their T3 and T4 levels. Here the level of T3 and T4 gets higher than the normal. The other tests are the thyroid scan and the radioactive iodine uptake test.
In elderly patients, serious complications like ‘Thyrotoxicosis crisis (thyroid storm)‘ may occur, which results in increased heart rate (tachycardia ) which is also irregular and other signs of failure.
Key Differences Between Hypothyroid and Hyperthyroid
Following are the key differences between hypothyroid and hyperthyroid:
- When the thyroid gland is unable to produce or secrete the required amount of thyroid hormones, leading to improper body’s function is called hypothyroid; whereas when there is an overproduction of thyroid hormones by the thyroid glands and thus affecting the normal function of the body is called as hyperthyroid.
- Hypothyroid is also called as underactive thyroid while Hyperthyroid is also known as an overactive thyroid.
- Important causes of hypothyroid are low-iodine diet, radiation exposure after cancer treatment, Genetics, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, or an autoimmune disorder or chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, Medications used in cancer treatment, psychiatric conditions, and heart problems; while causes in hyperthyroid includes Swollen thyroid, Thyroid nodules, Graves disease ( a disease that stimulates the thyroid hormones), Tumors of the ovaries or testes, Benign tumors of the thyroid or pituitary gland.
- There are many signs and symptoms of hypothyroid like slowed metabolism, weight gain, tiredness, goiter (swelling of the thyroid gland), slow heart rate, sensitivity to cold, dry hair and hair loss, depression, muscle cramps, constipation, carpal tunnel syndrome. But signs and symptoms of hyperthyroid are opposite to that of hypothyroid which includes shakiness, feeling hot, itchy red skin, hair loss, running heartbeat, weight loss, feeling worried or anxious, loss of consciousness, nausea, and vomiting.
- Hypothyroid results in the decrease of the number of required hormones; Hyperthyroid results in an increase in the number of hormone production.
- Diagnosis of hypothyroid and hyperthyroid are same like the test of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), thyroid scan, thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulin (TSI) test, radioactive iodine uptake test, but in hyperthyroid T3 and T4 test are also been done.
- Treatment of hypothyroid includes synthetic thyroid hormone (e.g., Levothyroxine) or correctively observed iodine supplementation, while Hyperthyroid treatment includes beta blockers (e.g., Propanolol) to alleviate symptoms, antithyroid medications (e.g., Methimazole) to slow down the over reactive thyroid.
- The person suffering from the hypothyroidism has intolerance with cold, while the person with hyperthyroidism has intolerance with heat.
Hence we conclude that both the disease are related to the imbalance in the regulation of the thyroid gland which secretes thyroid hormones. Hypothyroid is the condition also known as underactive thyroid, which results in the less production of the of the thyroid hormone, even less than the required amount, while hyperthyroid, which is also known as overactive thyroid is the condition when the thyroid gland overproduces the thyroid hormones.
Thazin Tun says
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